September 18, 2014

Medina
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Irving isn’t about to sit down

Rick Noland

The Gazette

CLEVELAND — When it comes to illness, Kyrie Irving apparently is a quick healer.

After vomiting Thursday night and missing the team’s shootaround Friday morning, the Cavaliers point guard visited the doctor, made a rapid recovery and was in the starting lineup against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Thirteen hours of sleep will definitely help you,” the 20-year-old said at Quicken Loans Arena, adding it was not the same stomach virus that has hit a number of Cavs players, coaches and trainers.

As for the hyperextended right knee that caused him to miss three games before returning Wednesday against Utah, Irving said, “I’m fine. I’m not getting shut down.”

After the Utah game, Irving said the knee was sore and the only way it would get better was if he didn’t play the rest of the season, which he was not about to do.

When Cleveland coach Byron Scott got wind of those comments, he said Thursday he wouldn’t hesitate to shut down the All-Star if there were any concerns about the knee.

Friday, both downplayed the issue, which took on a life of its own after it hit Twitter. Scott also said he had checked on Irving’s condition with trainer Max Benton.

“I don’t really think the knee is that big of an issue,” the coach said.

In a very surly pregame session with the media, Irving said it was “amazing what the Internet can do” when asked about the knee and his comments Wednesday after the Jazz game.

“I’m fine,” he said. “I’m not getting shut down.”

Old team

Wayne Ellington and Marreese Speights played their first game against the Grizzlies since being traded to Cleveland along with since-released point guard Josh Selby and a future first-round pick for Jon Leuer.

“You don’t want to get too high on the game,” Ellington said. “You treat it like just another game.”

Speights, who like Ellington is playing for his third NBA team, holds no grudges against the Grizzlies for the Jan. 22 deal.

“It wasn’t the team,” he said. “It was all the front office. It was a money move. That’s why I’ve still got love for Grizzlies fans and the Grizzlies organization.”

In 18 games with the Cavs prior to Friday, the 6-foot-10, 255-pound Speights had averaged 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds, while the 6-4, 200-pound Ellington had averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists. Both players have much bigger roles with rebuilding Cleveland than they did with playoff-bound Memphis

“Coach Scott has shown faith in me,” Ellington said. “He’s put me out there and let me go.”

The 6-10 Leuer, who played in nine games with the Cavs, had appeared in eight with the Grizzlies prior to Friday. He was averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.1 minutes for Memphis.

Selby was recently released by the Cavs. He never suited up for the team, playing only with the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League.

Tip-ins

Cavs shooting guard Dion Waiters, who missed two games due to illness, was back in the starting lineup, while reserve guard Daniel Gibson, who was out Wednesday with the same illness, was available to play.

l Memphis power forward Zach Randolph, who leads the team in scoring (15.2) and rebounding (11.6), missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle.

l Former Detroit small forward Tayshaun Prince is now starting for the Grizzlies, who shipped Rudy Gay to Toronto at the trade deadline.

l The last time the Cavs had at least 12 blocks in a game, like they did Wednesday, was Nov. 16, 2007, when they also had 12 against Utah.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.